Spring is upon us! Although there’s still a bit of snow on the ground here in Dorset we’re at the Vernal Equinox and what better way to celebrate the change of season that with food? I know that there’s a risk in calling this recipe Risotto Primavera, as it sounds like it should be a dish that everyone already knows and it isn’t. Instead, I’ve used the name here as I feel this risotto embraces both the freshness and colour of Spring.
I’ve used a bit of a mixed bag of vegetables here – with carrots sitting alongside asparagus, french beans and tenderstem broccoli. This was deliberate as I hoped it would provide a range of colours and textures, as well as flavour. It works well – as I said to Michael the flavours really remind me of a meal from my childhood but I can’t put my finger on it...
I think that you could probably change the vegetables here to suit whatever you had to hand. Just make sure you maintain a contrast between the crunch of the vegetables and the rich creaminess from the goat’s cheese. Speaking of which, I know that there’s quite a lot of cheese here, and that does make it rich, but why not spoil yourself from time to time, eh?
Embrace the change of the season with this colourful and fresh risotto. It's almost like eating Spring in a bowl.
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 120 g Onion (about 1 medium) peeled and finely chopped
- 75 g Carrot (about 1 medium) peeled and finely chopped
- 150 g Risotto Rice
- 100 ml Vermouth or Dry White Wine
- 600 ml Good Quality Vegetable Stock kept at a simmering temperature
- 6 Asparagus Tips cut into ½cm lengths
- 6 Tenderstem Broccoli stems cut into ½cm lengths
- 8 French Beans cut into ½cm lengths
- 75 g Goats Cheese crumbled
- 25 g Parmesan grated
Heat a good sized deep frying pan or heavy saucepan over a medium heat and add 1 tbsp olive oil, along with the chopped onions and carrots. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables have softened. Remove from the pan and put to one side.
Turn the heat up to medium-high, add in the remaining oil followed by the rice. Stir the rice through the oil until well-coated, cook until the rice appears translucent on the ends of each grain. Pour over the vermouth or wine and stir until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice.
At this stage start adding the stock one ladle at a time to the rice, continuing to stir well and only adding more stock when the liquid is almost gone. It’s important to note that you may not need all the stock or might need to add a bit more water towards the end. Continue to add stock and stir for around 18 minutes until the rice is tender yet retaining a little bite.
After about 10 minutes add the onion and carrot mixture to the rice and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes before adding in the other vegetables for the last 5 minutes of cooking.
When the rice is al dente remove the pan from the heat and stir through the goats cheese half of the parmesan cheese. The heat from the pan should be enough to melt it into the rice and leave you with a thick, creamy risotto. If you need a to put it back on the heat for a few seconds to assist then now is the time.
Serve the risotto into bowls, garnished with the remaining parmesan cheese.